MARCH 24, 1939
LOS ANGELES, Thursday—I have been so stirred in the past few days by the news in the papers, that I have hardly dared to write anything about it. There is one thing which I feel should be noted, however, namely, in the totalitarian countries there is a concerted effort to make it appear that the democracies have actually become the people who desire war. Because they take any action to prevent acquisition of new territory by the totalitarian states, they are accused of being the aggressors, and strange to say, in many papers I have read this point of view seems to be ably abetted by certain writers in this country and by some public speakers.
In one article I read this morning, it was stated that while the people of this country were outraged by certain things which have happened abroad, they had far less desire to go to war than they had before the World War. This is a perfectly obvious truth, but the writer then proceeded to state that certain responsible leaders here desired to see this country actually at war. I feel confident that leaders and people are united in this country in the desire for peace and when any opposite statement is made, it puts us willy-nilly in the position of aiding and abetting this curious position taken by the totalitarian states, namely, that any action taken to prevent ruthless aggression is tantamount to being the agressors in a war policy.
It is quite natural that totalitarian leaders should want to spread this idea abroad, because it removes responsibility from their own shoulders, but that anyone in this country, in speaking of the other democracies or their own, should lend themselves to this type of propaganda seems to me difficult to understand. Most of us know that justice is practically impossible to achieve through war, but that does not mean that we can not attempt to stand for the right, and to throw our weight on the side of justice, even of mercy. It is a namby- -pamby people which cannot make up its mind and which is afraid to state its opinion. If war comes as a result, we must endure it, but we do not want it and in standing for what we believe is right, we are doing what we can to preserve peace and justice in the world.
Yesterday morning I greeted a few Democratic women and then went to lunch at Occidental College, a small but very interesting institution. Dr. Bird, the president, seems to be a most unusual man. The afternoon was spent in going over Mr. Goldwyn's movie studio, for Jimmy wanted me to meet the people with whom he works, and to see where he spends most of his time when he is in this part of the country. It was fun and I only wish I could have had more time to talk to the many interesting people. From the women who take care of the wardrobe and practice on new types of hairdressing, to the man who makes an art of making people up to look their parts and on through to the chief executive, you feel that the paramount interest is in perfect production.